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Behavioural biometrics: How will it improve the consumer experience?

Behavioural biometrics is a brave new world of seamless, hassle-free authentication that is set to revolutionise – and personalise – the life of consumers across the planet.


Behavioural biometrics: How will it improve the consumer experience?

In a world of increasing connectivity and digitisation, our interactions with devices and services demands ever more in terms of identity authentication for access. As such, consumers are now seeking ever more personalised, trusted and effortless ways of navigating their everyday lives according to a Gemalto blog.

This is where passive behavioural biometric authentication – sometimes referred to as silent authentication – comes in.

Although the use of behavioural biometric authentication isn’t necessarily a new thing – the banking sector has been using it for many years, helping to provide convenient and robust authentication for online transactions – when combined with powerful machine learning, it can create a rich, multi-dimensional profile of each individual customer.

How do behavioural biometrics work?

By using continuous, passive behavioural biometrics authentication, including geo-location tools and machine learning, to build a picture of, the way they walk or how they hold and swipe their smartphone, tablet or PC, silent authentication analyses behavioural patterns to securely authenticate the consumer.

It also makes use of the sensors and signals that surround us on a daily basis – Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks, for example. Data is then compared in real-time to expected consumer patterns and this allows each individual to be securely authenticated whilst creating a seamless, uninterrupted user experience.

As artificial intelligence seeps into (and improves) more aspects of our everyday lives, and at a time when data security has never been more important, silent authentication has the potential to be harnessed by a variety of different sectors and in a range of different ways. Here’s a look at just a few:

1. E-commerce

E-commerce is one of the sector ideally positioned to harness and benefit from silent authentication. Its ability to provide real-time identification that improves the customer experience can help retailers meet evolving consumer demands.

In particular, silent authentication is ideally suited for delivery by autonomous machines such as drones, robots or autonomous cars whereby a consumer can receive an item fast, to their preferred location and with the minimum of fuss.

Consumer expectations are changing day by day and retailers are evolving to keep pace. MetaPack’s 2017 State of eCommerce delivery report revealed that 54% want e-commerce sites to offer a one-hour delivery in metropolitan areas, and that 60% would buy more from e-merchant sites that offer better delivery service. A combination of behavioural biometric authentication and autonomous machines could be crucial to meeting this demand.

2. Smart cars

A world of connected cars and autonomous vehicles is just around the corner, but security and identification remain key issues. Silent authentication using behavioural biometrics could also signal the end of that age-old problem – losing your car keys. For a seamless access experience, silent authentication can be used to open the door of a vehicle as you approach it, or even start the car just by just sitting in the driving seat.

3. Smart homes

As the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates, an increasing number of devices are becoming connected. No more so than in the home. Here, the rise of the ‘smart home’ has seen everything from thermostats and refrigerators added to a booming network of connected devices. As well as providing a robust security solution, silent authentication can identify individuals and ensure that access to certain devices can only be gained by them.

But security is only one aspect of silent authentication in the home. When your smart home recognizes you, it will be able to personalize the experience by automatically adjusting things such as lights, TV channels or even your favorite drink to your preferences.

4. Government 

As well as making it much easier to access and complete governmental administrative procedures such as filing taxes via your tablet,PC or mobile, silent authentication has the ability to revolutionise access to secure government institutions, both physical and digital.

Indeed, the US Department of Defense has recently announced that it is funding a smartphone-based identity verification project that officials say could revolutionise the way companies, federal agencies and the military verify individuals. By using smartphone hardware linked to a risk score algorithm, factors such as gait, hand pressure and wrist tension can be used to verify that users are who they say they are.

These behavioural biometrics allow for silent and continuous authentication while a device is being used, and a unique profile of that user is created. Machine learning means that the system learns over time and can potentially become more secure and accurate as it better understands the individual peculiarities of user behaviour.

Furthermore, the technology could be available in most commercial smartphones within two years.​


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